Slow Down To Speed Up

From USA Today 5/11/00 ...

Benitez also may have figured out a flaw in his delivery affecting his fastball. He's been rushing, causing his arm to drag. Tuesday, he concentrated on slowing down his delivery and the coaching staff was pleased he was able to do it on some of his pitches.

Anyone who knows aerodynamics understands this?

There's no magic here, not even aerodynamics. A ball is thrown by whipping the hand and arm. The velocity of the thrown ball at the moment it leaves the hand is the velocity of the hand. The whipping action causes surprising velocities. The same action is used to "spike" a volleyball. The article says that rushing caused drag. Who knows what that means, exactly, but it translates into a less effective "whip". Keeping the arm too tense could do that, and perhaps rushing the delivery results in too tense an arm, while slowing down the pre-delivery motion yields a more rubbery arm, as needed for high velocity throwing. The paradox vanishes when we realize that the motions are complex and staged out in time so that a slowness in one part does not imply slowness overall. Breathing through the eyelids also helps. -- WaldenMathews

Sounds like he is using TaiChi principles.

I don't think there is any TaiChi principle that specifically addresses speed.

The same principle applies to satellites in orbit (TheSoonerYouFallBehindTheMoreTimeYouWillHaveToCatchUp).

(Is this something similar to RidingCamelVsWalking?)

Haste makes waste.

This turns up in ScienceFiction books. JohnBrunner's TheShockwaveRider uses it for example.

I recall an enjoyable SF novella in some magazine about a astronomer who wants to get up in space with a telescope and plans her whole career to set up the right space shuttle experiment. A key part of the story is that she knows that the shuttle can catch up to an errant satellite by slowing down. She also uses BackusNaurForm to great effect. Any one know what-where-when? -- DickBotting

I believe that was Epicycle, by PjPlauger. It was in the November 1973 Analog. -- EricJablow

I read a story where a space ship, fed from a "teleporting stream" from Earth starts to run low on fuel. So they *speed up* to *slow down time* (as they're going close to the speed of light) - the relativistic effects cause their subjective time to "slow down" relative to Earth, and thus get fuel more quickly, from their perspective. -- JeffGrigg

I seem to remember the line: "See you later, Accelerator."

The story of ArchimedesOfSyracuse on AhHa reminded me of another story about a young hard working lumberjack. Each day he was cutting down fewer and fewer trees. He tried to work more hours to make up for the fact, but nothing he tried seemed to matter. One day, he came across an old lumberjack, sitting down with his back to a tree, sharpening his axe. (It can pay off to take a minute to SharpenTheSaw.)

Which reminds me of another story about a romantic young bull, an old bull, and a herd of cows...

I find that when playing games like HalfLife or QuakeThreeArena, in addition to fast paced card games like Dutch Blitz (, I do better when I take a moment to breath, and then work at my own pace instead of rushing. The stack of cards in front of me gets smaller more quickly, and I stay alive longer in gun fights.

This reminds me of how I managed to do well on most of my exams. Most of my friends would go in all nervous and everything, and I would simply relax. I think this gave me quite a significant advantage, since I was able to keep my mind focused on the questions and to remember what I had read more easily. Never helped me with essay-style questions, though.

As an electrical engineering student I was horrified to discover that I had forgotten to bring my calculator to the midterm. I turned in a paper with every problem carefully and plainly setup, but not one worked out to a final answer. This was actually a lot more fun than crunching numbers and earned me nearly full credit in every case. (I later turned to programming because the same technique works so well for everything.)

That's right; I don't feel good as a programmer unless I'm solving a problem at least twice-meta-removed from the problem at hand. ;-) -- JeremyBowers

This sounds very like some findings from the University College of London. They calculated that if everyone working in London traveled to work by Bus, their journey times would be significantly quicker. The time taken waiting for buses etc would be more than offset by the reduced congestion allowing buses to travel quicker. So the slower means of transport would be the fastest if everyone used it.

The downside to this is that for a given level of congestion, any individual's quickest method of travel would be to use a car. This means that people are not likely to choose to travel by bus themselves, even if they could see the benefit of everyone travelling by bus. See the link

Would you consider this an example of a TragedyOfTheCommons or at the very least a PrisonersDilemma?

I think that it is a variant on the PrisonersDilemma. In the classic version, if the prisoners cooperate they will get less reward than if they don't. Here the potential reward is greater. If this game were played by two people, they would almost certainly decide to cooperate. (imagine a bridge that could take one vehicle a day - if two tried to cross it would fall down and take hours to rebuild, delaying both. If there were only two potential users they would almost certainly agree to share a vehicle. ) The difficulty arises because there are a million or so participants, some of whom can't cooperate.

City planners certainly see it as a TragedyOfTheCommons; a proposed solution is to introduce road pricing, so the roads will no longer be a free common resource.

I certainly hope that if they start that policy they also reduce my taxes to eliminate the amount I'm paying to build those roads! I'll pay for construction, or for use, but not both! (Oh? Why not?) Paying for construction is like buying the road; paying for use is like renting it. It's unreasonable to pay rent on something you own - not the original poster

"Any man who is still travelling by bus at the age of 25 can consider himself to be a failure." -- MargaretThatcher

Anyone still listening to Thatcher can consider themself to be a failure. ;)

Also applies to JackieStewart?'s style of driving: smooth vs hurried.

While I am driving in intercity roads, I slow down before overtaking if the left side of the road is full. While slowing down I'm calculating the last car of the left pack and begin accelerating. This way I'm in maximum speed when the last car in left pack passed and I'm just behind the car I'm about to overtake. This also allows me to overtake with seemingly lightning speed with my RenaultTwingo? (Americans: replace intercity with interstate; British: replace left with right, and right with left).

This is taught to new US Marine officers as the 'Smooth is fast' principle; Which is then lovingly referred to as 'Slow is fast'. The last thing you want to see to someone shaking through the correct reaction to a jammed weapon. (Unless you're the one at the other end of the weapon!)

I remember when I was very young, maybe only 4 or 5, my mother had to go somewhere in a hurry, but I wasn't dressed yet.... My mother told me to get dressed QUICKLY..... So, I tried to get dressed as quickly as I could, but Lo and Behold! I could not seem to get my arms and legs into all the right holes in my various pieces of clothing.

This was when my mother explained to me that sometimes slowing down actually speeds thing up. I remember being struck by this piece of wisdom and thinking about it for the rest of the day......

"Slower Is Faster"

This is a common phrase in all sorts of racing. Being slower than necessary in a turn may not be the optimal solution overall, but it sure beats the living crap out of being too fast in a turn. Slowing down at the right time allows the ride to be smoother, and smooth is fast. All those TV shows from the '70s and '80s with the cars sliding sideways around the corners? Total shite. I could outrun those cars on my bicycle, for crying out loud.

A DifferentAngle of GenerativeCommunication, for InterTeamCommunication

OnlySayThingsThatCanBeHeard. Sometimes it is the most effective SlowDownToSpeedUp way to deal with issues.

See GenerativeCommunication resources related to the LearningOrganization, at:
See: ItsNotAboutSpeed, ExpandToContract


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